The Revels is an organization devoted to the preservation of traditional songs, stories, dances, costumes and customs. To this end, they present extravigant shows each winter in venues throughout America.
The Philadelphia Revels appears at the Media Playhouse in Delaware County and if you can get tickets, don't miss the pageantry and joy. (Each year brings a brand-new show, so even if you caught last year's edition, you aint seen nothin' yet.)
The Revels also release a new CD each winter, generaly following a theme not allied to the live shows. This year, the CD seems to emphasize a genre that used to be called Negro Spirituals back in the days when we thought that "Negro" was a term of respect. Spirituals were the songs of slavery, a time so heinous that most of the white society and many of the black society would just as soon like to forget. The spirituals are rarely sung nowadays but they should be. They are a tribute to the brave souls who endured in the worst of purgatories (often buoyed by the songs we hold in such disrepute).